Even before he was hired as the "Master Blender" for all of Drew Estate, Willy Herrera was "quietly legendary" in the cigar industry.
For 8 years, he worked at the tiny El Titan de Bronze factory in Little Havana for his amazing "Cubanesque blending style."
Jonathan Drew recognized Willy's gifts and in 2011, he was hired to put in charge of creating new cigars blends as well as being the guardian of the company's established blends.
The first signature blend turned out to be the game-changing Herrera Esteli which first launched in early 2013. It received rave reviews, and the Herrera Esteli Piramide Fino scored 94 points and was named the No. 8 Cigar of the 2013 Cigar Aficionado magazine! It was the highest Cigar Aficionado score ever given to a cigar made by Drew Estate.
So what do you do next?
Well, if you're Willy Herrera, you try to make something even better...
...and in my opinion, he did just that with the release of the Herrera Esteli Norteno. The "Norteno" showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Esteli and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, coupled with a spicy Honduran binder and a rich, bold Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper.
I once heard an interview with Willy where he said this was his "dream job" and whenever I smoke a "Norteno", this is exactly what I think of...because it so lovingly made and crafted. And that's why...
...Juan's Badass Cigar of the Week is my personal favorite from this line, the Norteno by Herrera Esteli Toro Especial!
This full bodied, Maduro expression is pressed and flat...boasting rounded, contoured edges and an easy open draw. And here's my favorite part (as the folks at Cigar Aficionado noted in their review):
It has a "...spicy gingersnap zing underscores the cigar's earthy and salty character."
Ready to try it out for yourself? Here's your chance:
As always with the Badass Cigar of the Week, I'd love for you to do one of two things:
- Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.
- If it's a cigar that you LOVE or HATE---let me know on our Facebook page